True North

By Kate Riley January 1, 2013

Long walks in the woods do wonders for the mind, body, and soul and bring remarkable clarity.  I was up in the mountains last week and had a lot of time to think about what I’d like this year to be about.  It’s common to set goals or resolutions for ourselves this time of year and the more I thought about it, the more I analyzed my dreams and the direction I need to take to make them happen, and to make my work even more fulfilling.   

path to true north

I confess I needed a break from blogging which is why I took the week off.  All those unplugged hours helped me focus on what I wanted more of here on the blog and today seems the perfect time to share those ideas, hopes, and dreams.  I’ll be staying true to most of what I’ve been posting about for years, but here are a few changes I’ll be making in 2013.

1.  Less Me, More You.  I love home improvement but there’s only a few major projects left around our place before the house is “done” and after that we’ve no plans to move!  Yet I absolutely love DIY projects on the home front, remodeling and sprucing will always be a passion, so I plan to tackle a few more of your design dilemmas and include readers in the conversation too.  I’ll still have a lot of creative DIY ideas of my own to share too but I don’t expect to do quite as many this year as I have in the past.

2.   Random Beauty.   I love to explore the world with my camera, heading out into nature, popping into local shops, and taking pictures of cool places and spaces.  I’m going to adventure and share more of what I capture with my lens this year.  

3.  Great Design.  My favorite topic is what constitutes good design, from architectural elements to color, fabric, and furniture choices.  I’ll be beefing up the Style Files with weekly articles on random topics this year, together with some Contributing Writers. 

4.  Weekly Encouragement.  I love the idea of starting off the week with an encouraging word or quote, so I plan to do a lot of that on Mondays, and offer some free printables to go along with it. 

5.  Fabric Design.  I’ve been hinting at this for a while but I feel it’s finally time to share.  After a year of dreaming, I have all the tools in place to pursue something I’m truly passionate about and that is textile design.  More samples of my work are arriving every day and I’m excited to be launching a line of colorful prints for home this spring. 

We’ve decided to convert the small unit above our garage into a design and sewing studio, and we’ll be starting the transformation later this month.  For me, this is the ultimate DIY project, and I’ll be working on a lot of textile designs behind the scenes over the next couple of months until the collection is complete! 

kates fabrics


In life, there is always uncertainty about what the future holds but I believe in taking a leap of faith and investing in oneself.  Finding the right path, my true north, is what this year is really about for me.  I believe we all need to focus on what truly makes us happy and not so much what everyone else is doing.  Life is too short not to pursue our passions! 

I want this blog to continue to be a place of inspiration and community and I’ll stay focused topic wise on inspiring you and me in the process of making our lives and homes more beautiful.  I love sharing the inspiring writings and projects of others so both the ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ and ‘Friday Finds’ series will continue this year. 

I know there are a lot of lovely blogs to read out there, I subscribe to so many too, and so I am grateful every day for your readership.  I welcome any of your thoughts on content or posts, feel free to suggest them in the comments or email them to me at [email protected].

I’ll be kicking off the New Year with an all star cast of tips on organizing tomorrow. 

Cheers to a healthy, happy, and productive 2013! 

kate signature image




  1. What wonderful reflections on your blog Kate. I too took a week off and it does really help to have some time to set personal goals for the new year. Congratulations on your new line of textiles! What a fantastic avenue to showcase your talents! I’m looking forward to see what 2013 has in store for you!

  2. Kate if ever you’re looking for someone to sew samples and work with your fabrics (home dec or otherwise) sign me up! I’d love to apply your lines to real life purposes, the opportunity would be beyond words. Thanks for sharing all that is to come, looking forward with excitement and wishing you all the best for 2013.

  3. So kind Jaime! Thanks! I have someone locally I’m working with but will definitely give it some thought! xo Kate

  4. Your fabric design project sounds incredible! I’m excited to hear more about it (and see your designs!).

    Change can be a good thing, and in the case of the changes you’re planning, I think it definitely will be!

    Happy New Year!

  5. That is such exciting news, Kate! I am so thrilled about your fabric line. :)
    Sounds like it’s going to be another great year for you, and it sounds like you are keeping it all in perspective.
    Love you!

  6. Hey there! I’m new to your blog and just wanted to say “great post”! I’m looking forward to reading more this year–everything you listed sounds fun. And nice job on the textile design (I am also drawn to that)! Happy new year!

  7. Happy New Year, Kate. My best wishes for you in your new avenues this year. I was inspired by your words, as I’m in the exact same mode as you for 2013 — following my passions and not holding back. Walking new roads, or at least broadening my current paths. I’m looking forward to reading wherever you take me!!

  8. Please hint at the cost of fabric. I loved the lavender geometric you did. I’m on the hunt for new living room drapes. I love Imperial Trellis, but not the price tag. Will the price be something that’s fabulous for less? That stack looked fun. Do tease us with more glimpses! Happy New Year!

    • Hi Krista, the fabrics will be available in many colors as pillows and as window panels too, still working on the cost of yardage, probably in the $20 to $25 range depending on cotton or linen blends :)

  9. So so exciting:) I giggled a bit because I haven’t finished my post about 2013 goals…but one of mine is to share more photography…. Along with being true to all my other passions. I can’t wait to see more fabrics:) sign me up girl! Happy new year:)

  10. Congrats on your new venture! I’ve always wanted to design my own fabrics so I can understand how exciting this must be. I can’t wait to see samples!

  11. Hi Kate,

    I am so happy that you shared this post. I think that “normal” people actually feel that their house is “done.” As in, the big stuff. Sometimes reading blogs you think that bloggers are super human and constantly constantly building and making things and it can almost feel anxiety inducing to read them. I’ve stopped reading a few blogs that I thought just made me feel not domestic or efficient enough. I think you are spot on about following your passions and I believe that success comes only when we are true to ourselves and what it is we really feel passionate about. Good on you for taking the risk and not just following what everyone else seems to be doing. That is what a good leader does. Bless you and your family this year!

    • Thanks so much Rachel (and everyone) for your thoughtful and encouraging words!

  12. Exciting news Kate! I started my blog just over one year ago and am amazed at how things have evolved and changed for me in this short amount of time. I applaud you for taking some time to reflect and follow your passions…I will be dong the same this year! Starting with a trip to Paris this month and beginning a business venture with a new friend I met through blogging. Cheers to both of us for making 2013 the best year yet!

    • Cheers to you too Laura on your new business venture, and Paris? Oui oui! Can I come? ;)

  13. I love your idea of helping others with their design DIY dilemna’s because I am at a COMPLETE and UTTER loss for my office, spare bedroom, craft space. Which also happens to house my closet because our master closet is way too small. Please help me!!!!!

    Ps, I’m in the Sacramento area. Aren’t you in Northern California?


  14. ask any journalist, would you rather cover breaking news, or write a weekly column. Breaking news wins hands down; so much to see, people to interview, hearing original things. Weekly column… well, no matter what the beat, becomes after a time, repetitive, a chore really. To try to stay in, columnists startshaving guest writers, recycle old chestnuts, do round ups. Original-fresh goes away. Entropy is inevitable unless there is fresh water flowing in fire-hose size every day and week and month–otherwise the water eventually trickles, goes dry. What used to be a joy becomes a labor.

    I wish you travel, much of it, and far away from safe ground. I wish you wild creation of pattern on more than fabric alone. I can see you have the means, and that places you in the top percentile of women throughout the world in terms of choices and freedom to pursue choices as you wish for the most part. And especially, more than all the above, that you continue to take every pleasure and every creative concern and self-regard whilst being a mother. The time flies so quickly. So quickly.

  15. Sounds great! I’m glad you took a break for yourself and can’t wait to see what you are going to do with the fabric.

  16. How exciting for you!!! Sounds like 2013 is going to be a ton of fun! Look forward to reading more posts! Cherie’

  17. Amazing! I could not have imagined it, but you’ve come up with plans that make this fabulous blog even more! Thank you!

  18. Really looking forward to the launch of your line. I hope you let us know the website as soon as everything’s ready to go. I love the sample fabrics in the picture already, and especially like that they will be available in window panels too. Best of luck!

  19. I have often thought to myself how lovely it would be if some of my favorite diy/style bloggers could just pop into my house and tell me what to do… and then you decided to make my dreams come true! I could SO use help with our new house. It’s still a disorganized, partially decorated mess. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings! Thanks!

  20. What a great and exciting post. I am very happy for you and enjoy your blog very much. You truly are an inspriation.


  21. Congratulations on your upcoming line and I look forward to your new direction for this blog!

  22. I decided the only “Resolution” I would make is to procrastinate less….I’m starting tomorrow.
    Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny cold day here in Oshawa Ontario, and it was a blast watching kids and their parents tobogganing across the road from my home. An ant-hill of activity. My dog and I went for a walk to the lake (Ontario) where he bounced about with another dog and had a great time himself. I was exhilarated.

    Your plans sound superb. The fabric line planned for a release has me piqued. LOVE FABRIC!!
    Looking forward to all you plan to offer Kate, and feel free as you have a right to…to vacation as needed. Too much, can be just too much.

  23. You are a reliable source of inspiration. I like seeing what you will come up with next, or just seeing what interests you. I would like to see more of your family life: pics of your holiday party, birthday parties, and real mom stuff, good, bad, and everything in between.

    • Will do Gina, I’m putting together a birthday party soon, will be sure to show some highlights – and I snapped a bunch of pics of our holiday party prep, will feature that in November !

  24. Clearly a lot of thought went into this post and I look forward to all you have coming up in 2013. I would love to contribute in any way I can. After a very difficult and transitional year I also look forward to new ideas and changes for 2013 that can be shared in blogland. Thanks, as always, to great inspiration.

  25. dreams that whisper in our hearts are most precious when we dare to have the courage to speak them… and it is only when we speak them that they have the chance to breathe and live and come true.

    looking forward to watching yours take root and grow!

  26. “Life is too short not to pursue our passions!” So right Kate..You do what you feel is in your heart..And I can’t wait to see the fabrics!!

  27. Thanks for sharing the Pine Cone Hill website. I love them all! The Sedona table linens would look perfect in my dining area.

  28. So exciting to begin a new year and a fresh new chapter with new goals and dreams. And it’s so exciting that you are going to help us with our DIY projects and hopefully suggest some of your beautiful new textiles to brighten our homes and lives! I’m don’t always have a moment to comment, but am always checking your beautiful blog for inspiration and instructions. So bring it on, Girl! I’m ready to have Centsationalize my home with those gorgeous textiles!

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)